Did you know that you can often plan a stopover for free or very little additional money when traveling abroad by air? Overnight or several day stops in major hubs like Singapore, Tokyo, Paris, Dubai, Istanbul, Honolulu and even lesser frequented areas like Helsinki and Reykjavik, can be added to your itinerary very cost effectively in many cases. This may be a nice way to ease a long journey. Call us for help in enhancing your next adventure!
Going on a fun getaway with your closest girlfriends is important once in a while. You deserve it. If you’re a busy career woman, wife, and mother, you have to take a break on go on a vacation with the ladies in your life.
An adventure with your partner or vacation with the family can be exciting but you still need your girls to keep your sanity. Last week, we presented the Top 9 Destination for Girlfriend Getaways. (Have you chosen your first destination yet?)
This time, we’ll help you plan that upcoming girlfriend getaway for a more memorable bonding experience:
- LET IT GO.
Let go of the stress and the guilt of going on a trip. You don’t have to feel guilty of taking a vacation without with your spouse and kids. You’re not leaving them forever so don’t feel sorry for them. You’re only taking some time away to recharge and refocus. You don’t want to be too stressed in life so a quick vacation will help.
- DISCUSS WITH YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER.
Just because you want to go on a vacation and you deserve it, it doesn’t mean you can just pack your suitcase and go. You have to let your family know and make them understand that you need this trip.
- GIVE MEANING TO YOUR TRIP.
You’ve been working too hard in your office or as a hands-on homemaker. You need to celebrate milestones in your life and one way is to go on a getaway with your girlfriends. If there’s no other reason to celebrate, you can still do so just because YOU’RE A WOMAN.
- DECIDE ON A DATE.
Because all women are busy, it’s important that you plan ahead. Make a survey of when most of your friends are available. Coordinate with them on the following holidays and maybe check promos on Women-only Tours.
- ORGANIZE YOUR TRIP.
Divide the duties and plan ahead. Have one girlfriend book a hotel and another plan your itinerary. Then maybe you can make a checklist of what you need to bring or set the sleeping arrangements. Have your best friend suggest restaurants, tourist destinations, or entertainment. Don’t do the planning all by yourself.You can make a Facebook group or thread for your upcoming trip where you can share and discuss all your plans.
- DO YOUR CHORES.
“What? I thought I’m going on a vacation?” Yes. However, you still have duties and responsibilities. Don’t just leave without planning and prepping your household. Discuss with your partner. Make sure necessary things are done in advance or taken care of by somebody else.You can’t just leave your family. You’re too important. And of course, you don’t to think them all the time while you’re away, do you?
- RELAX. GO ON AND ENJOY.
It’s so easy to say but it can be a challenge for the OC (Obsessive-Compulsive) and busy women. Relax. It’s just a short trip. Time to refresh and get away. Think of this as a special “business trip” where you need to attend a workshop or seminar for your enrichment.
To travel with your significant other, your kids, and the rest of your family may be fun and memorable but sometimes, a woman needs to go on a break and enjoy a stress-free vacation with girlfriends.
Such trips would mean no lovers, no kids, and no work. It’s just you and your friends on a special women-only tour. Remember the time when you were young during weekend sleepovers? You can still do that but in a more mature and stylish way.
Why not travel in somewhere far where culture is different? A new experience in a new place is best enjoyed with your BFFs.
We’ve listed some of our top recommendations for women-only tours you and your girlfriends will enjoy:
- SOUTH AFRICA (African Beauty & The Beasts)A trip to South Africa for 11 days will let you experience the luxurious safari lodge, learn the history and local culture, see the picturesque countryside, and appreciate Cape Town. Enjoy the beaches, the penguins, some wine tasting, and a lot of shopping.
- ALSACE, FRANCE (The Alsatian Wine Route)Any town in France is a nice place to visit but the Alsatian Wine Route is for those who enjoy a good wine. Wines are abundant in Alsace thanks to the influence of Germany extending to food and architecture. Your Alsatian travel will begin in Strasbourg and then onto the countryside following the wine route to the beautiful villages of Colmar.
- BELLE PROVENCE, FRANCE (France’s Southern Jewel)What is it about France that is so special? There are so many things to love about the country but if you want to enjoy sunny blue skies, perfumed air, and multi-colored fields, then go to Belle Provence. This is considered as France’s Southern Jewel for its rich history and inviting countryside. You and the other women in your life can immerse in the beauty of southern France beginning in the Luberon area of Provence.
- TUSCANY, ITALY (Chianti Cooking & Tuscany Spa Retreat)The Italians definitely know how to cook. How about learning a thing or two from real Italian chefs? The cooking and spa retreat will let you taste the world-famous Chianti and Brunello wines, learn how to cook authentic Italian cuisine, and travel deep into the Tuscany countryside.
- INDIA (India Unveiled)Enjoy a 13-day adventure in India. Travel to discover the 2,000 year history of Delhi, experience being in an Indian family home, participate in a one-of-a-kind culinary experience, and enjoy a fun elephant ride in Amber Fort. And of course, let’s not forget viewing the magnificent Taj Mahal.
- PARIS, FRANCE (Paris Couture & Country Chateaux)The mere mention of Paris brings about thoughts of the Eiffel Tower and what else—shopping! But Paris is more than these two. The Paris Couture & Country Chateaux trip will let you explore the Loire Valley, taste regional wines at a local vineyard, and see the mushrooms in limestone caves. You can even learn the secrets of French cooking. All these and more before shopping to your heart’s content in Paris.
- FRENCH BASQUE COUNTRY (The Pays Basque & French Pyrenees)Awake your senses in the Pays Basque and Pyrénées Mountains. Enjoy the salty air of the Atlantic, the lush mountain valleys, and the green forests. When you’ve explored the nature, you can gaze at the vibrant building facades and the festive clothing of the Basque people. Allow yourself to immerse in the charming secrets of southwestern France.
- PERU (Peru in All Its Splendor)Learn how the Peruvian women live. Explore the beauty of the Sacred Valley and learn about Peru’s colonial history by visiting a private colonial art collection. Visit a weaving project to learn more about the modern Peruvian women’s role in the society.
- COSTA RICA (Ultimate Yoga Bliss in Costa Rica)If you’re a yoga fanatic, join an ultimate yoga bliss retreat in Costa Rica with your girlfriends or yoga classmates. A wellness-focused Costa Rican getaway will help you rediscover yourself, improve your mood and mind, as well as, release stress. It’s about time you relax and break away from all the work and business of your everyday life. You deserve it.
Every woman deserves to go on a vacation. It will be more special and unforgettable when you go on a special getaway especially designed for the women. For a memorable, customized women-only tour, contact Gateway Destinations.
Now that you’ve finally planned that trip, it’s time to pack your things and prepare yourself for an adventure. For a hassle-free travel, it is important that you bring all things that you need. You sure don’t want any delays so it is best that you are ready.
Getting to your destination is one thing but being well prepared is another thing. If you forget something important, you might have to spend extra money, time, and effort to get whatever it is. The time could have been spent enjoying the tour. You sure don’t want that to happen, do you?
Here are simple tips on packing and traveling light:
- Use a small and lightweight bag. Get a bag that is easy to carry and has light but sturdy material. It must be lightweight because you will be carrying it most of the time. You may use a duffel bag that has wheels too so you can just drag it around when you’re tired.
- Know the weather and climate condition of your destination. Check the weather forecast to know what clothes you should bring. No need to bring a jacket if weather is warm. If it is bright and sunny, you may need to bring your hat or sunglasses.
- Bring comfortable shoes. Bring ample footwear but please bring only a few pairs of lightweight but comfortable shoes. You can bring one pair of slippers, a pair of casual shoes, and a pair of walking/running shoes. The latter you could use for going around the city. If weather is cold and snowy, you need to bring shoes or boots that can protect you from the cold.
- Plan your wardrobe. This will save you time each morning deciding what to wear. Be minimalist when traveling. Bring only a few items that you can mix and match. You don’t need to bring your whole wardrobe. No need to bring five pairs of jeans as you can use a pair or two the whole trip. It can also be easy to have your clothes washed at the hotel or you can wash them yourself.Make sure that you bring appropriate clothing. There are places that might require both men and ladies to be covered, not showing too much skin. Your travel wardrobe should include enough clean underwear. You can also bring disposables if you want.
- Maximize the space inside your bag. You can put socks inside your shoes. Put toiletries inside a pouch. Roll your clothes to save space. Be creative about using the extra space. Learn to compress and conserve.
- Pack toiletries right. Most people put toiletries inside a pouch but make sure items are in a re-sealable bag. Wrap a tape around the bottle cap to keep liquid from spilling.
- Plan how to bring your special equipment or supplies. This is needed especially if you have small kids. You may need to bring bulky stuff like a stroller a pack-and-play crib for your child. If you are an artist or a musician, you may also need to plan how you are going to transport your instrument and other equipment.
- Be practical and smart. Bring all the necessary items with you on your carry-on bag. Have a pen, water, sunglasses, snacks, earplugs, toothbrush, hairbrush, special medicines, or a clean change of underwear.
- Do not carry all valuables in one bag. Your bag may be stolen so don’t put all valuables in just one bag.
- Take note of precautions and security. Keep your passport, money, credit cards, or ID in a special security pouch.
- If not necessary, leave your laptop and other gadgets at home. That is, if you don’t need them. Take time away from your computer, tablet, or handheld gaming console for a while. You are on your vacation so bring just your phone and a camera with you.
Image: cmor15 from Flickr | Creative Commons License
The US Travel continuously studies the travel sector and look at the different factors that affect spending, the travel volumes, and other economic indicators. The group releases bi-annual domestic forecasts to provide the public information on the performance of the industry, as well as, show prospects for the coming year.
Tourism forecasts are important because they give the travel sector and the travellers a glimpse of tourism by looking at the spending and arrivals of overseas and international visitors.
Since 2008, data just kept on increasing. The US Travel report includes information on the following:
- Real GDP (in $ billions)
- Unemployment rate (in %)
- Consumer Price Index (CPI)
- Travel Price Index (TPI)
- Total Travel Expenditures in US ($ billions)
- Total International Visitors to the US (in millions)
- Overseas Arrivals to the US (millions)
- Total Domestic Person-Trips (millions)
Real GDP back in 2008 was $14.833.6 billion. Six years later, this 2014, it’s now up to $16,759.7 billion. Next year, it’s predicted to be $17,625.1 billion and $18,514.1 billion the following year (2016).
Unemployment rate went from 5.8 percent in 2008 to 7.5% this year. Consumer Price Index or CPI also went up but with yearly fluctuations.
US Travel Forecasts change each year but one thing is constant: the Americans’ love for travel. A lot of older people travel more for leisure than business. Most of them look to travel to exquisite places like the Ancient Athens and the Greek Isles or Italy’s Versilia Coast & The Cinque Terre.
For all your travel needs, you may rely on Gateway Destinations to customize a travel plan for you. May it be a honeymoon adventure, women only tours, or European tour, Gateway Destination could plan something for you.
If you are planning to travel abroad in the next few months or year, take a quick look at your passport to make sure it is adequate for your travel. Does the expiration date and number of blank pages fulfill the visiting country’s requirements? Normal processing time for renewals and new applications is currently taking about 4 to 6 weeks, but expedited services are available through US Passport Processing Centers or designated private courier services. An easy-to-understand guide can be found at uspassporthelpguide.com.
Traveling for a trip can be both exciting and exhausting. It takes a lot of time and effort to research on hotels for accommodations, places to eat, and must-see tourist spots.
In the United States, sources of travelers when planning their trips have changed over the years according to a ‘Domestic Travel Market Report’ by the U.S. Travel’s Research Department.
The shift was because of the mobile devices and social media becoming more popular. Smartphones, tablets, and other mobile gears have changed the way people search for information. Social media also revolutionized how people share experiences.
Key findings of the 2012 study included information that nearly 31% of travelers relied on past experiences when planning their trips.
About a quarter or 23% of travelers relied on their relatives and friends for information. Ten percent of them checked on destination websites like Gateway Destinations.
Nine percent (9%) trusted travel provider websites. These were mainly hotel, airline, cruise, tours, and rental car websites.
Only 5 percent trusted social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. A small four percent (4%) of the travelers used their mobile devices.
The 2012 Domestic Travel Market Report showed that mobile device use and social networking as source improved. From two percent in 2009, use of social sites moved up to five percent (5%). Use of mobile device went from one to four percent (1 to 4%).
The report also revealed that traveling households earn more than non-traveling households. Media Household Income of three groups were also identified:
Domestic leisure travelers – $62,500
Business travelers – $87,500
Meanwhile, average income of the general U.S. population was $52,800.
Travel agencies like Gateway Destiantions offers all inclusive luxury vacations, women only tours, custom honeymoon adventures, and extraordinary European tours. Allow us to plan a memorable trip for you and your loved ones.
According to the Research Department of the US Travel Association, the age of leisure travelers are older than business travelers. Most of the leisure travelers have an average age of 47.5 years old while business travelers’ age is 45.9 years old.
Of the more mature travelers group, those aged 65 and above comprise 18 percent and another 18% are between 55 and 64 years old. Combining the two, they comprise 36 percent of all leisure travelers.
The remaining numbers fall within these age groups:
- 19% – 45 to 55 years old
- 17% – 35 to 44 years old
- 20% – 25 to 34 years old
- 8% – 18 to 24 years old
On the other hand, majority of the business travelers, about 26% are aged 45 to 54. The largest group includes the 35-44 years old at 24%, followed by ages 55 to 64 (20%). The younger professionals that fall within ages 25 to 34 comprise only 19%. The smallest percent are those 18 to 24 years of age at 8 percent. Seniors aged 65 and above are still included but only at 7%.
The reason why leisure travelers are older than business travelers is probably because most of them are retirees. These are the people who have more money to spend. They are the ones who have reached retirement and and who are willing to spend thousands of dollars on specialty tours like trips to the Ancient Athens and Green Isles, Italy’s Versilia Coast & The Cinque Terre, or the Bounties Of Bordeaux Wine Cruise.
It’s not always the case for every retiree but more people, who have recently retired, with their retirement fund now easily accessible, they are the ones who usually go on adventures and start to enjoy the world more.
A lot of traveling will happen if the retiree is capable of paying for his trip. It’s like giving himself a big reward after all the years of working hard. Some even sell their homes to travel the world. Crazy idea but it works for some people.
If you want to travel the world, allow Gateway Destinations to plan an extraordinary adventure for you and your loved ones.
Traveling to many countries and seeing the rest of Europe are in my bucket list. I know a lot of people who dream of a Euro Trip and have started dreaming of exceptional travel getaways in Europe someday.
Travel consultants like Gateway Destinations offer custom travel to Europe for busy professionals, retirees, or honeymooners. For the newlyweds, honeymoon packages can be tailored according to their needs. For the ladies are custom women only tours to the African safari, cooking classes in Tuscany, or an adventure to Peru.
Flying Versus Driving
But while a lot of people look forward to unforgettable dream vacations, not everyone gets to travel as much as they want. The U.S. Travel research department’s ‘Domestic Travel Market’ Report released in 2012 mentioned that 33 percent of domestic business trips were done through flying or by air travel. Only eleven percent (11%) were leisure trips. Most of the travels were done by car, about 79% of the number.
Looks like it’s a Flying versus Driving game. In this side of the world, more people take a road trip than ride the airplane. People travel by land because of many reasons. For one, it is more affordable. But for others, it’s fun to drive with family, friends, and loved ones. It may take time but a road trip can be enjoyable especially for young families. Kids enjoy the long drive. For them, it’s an adventure.
They say, “Travel brings power and love back into your life.” It’s so true. It’s good to travel because it gives you new experiences, freedom, more knowledge, and a renewed spirit of adventure.
[Source: US Travel]
*Gateway Destinations offers all inclusive luxury vacations and travel packages, specializing in women only tours and high end trips to France and Italy, as well as, extraordinary honeymoons.
If you are reading this, you probably haven’t tied the knot yet or you have very recently gotten married. You are still in seventh heaven and are probably still euphoric. We congratulate you on finding the right person to spend the rest of your life with. Still, if you want to make your honeymoon trip to Italy extra special and extra memorable, you need to be very clear as to what you want.
The worst thing you can do is to plan your trip using standard commercial Italian travel tour packages. If you do this, you pretty much drain a lot of the romantic potential of your trip. Sure, Italy is historically known as a great romantic destination. After all, this is the same country where both the sleepy, hauntingly romantic canals and gondolas of Venice and the tragic star-crossed scene of Romeo and Juliet, Verona, are located. But if you were to merely use typical travel tour package itineraries, you miss out on layering on a extra level of mystery, romance, and delight to your trip. Keep the following tips in mind when planning your Italian honeymoon.
Explore off-the-beaten track destinations
Sure, just the mere selection of Italy as your honeymoon destination is enough to guarantee at least some truly romantic and memorable moments on your special trip. But given the fact that most people want to only go to one honeymoon trip in their lives, notwithstanding golden anniversary honeymoon trips, do you really want your honeymoon trip to consist of hitting the same trails and destinations as any other packaged Italy vacation tour? By going to off-the-beaten-track destinations, you avoid the maddening crowd and ‘tourist’ feel of many standard commercial travel packages to Italy. With specialized cherry-picked honeymoon destinations, you are sure to savor the quaint, intimate, ‘just for us’ feel many of Italy’s less-publicized towns and travel destinations offer. You want your travel destination to lend as much romantic ambiance to your trip as possible. Sadly, getting on and off a bus trudging with vacation tour groups waving plastic flags and sporting a sticker on your chest probably rubs some of the romantic firepower of your special trip off.
Plan your itinerary around your personalities
You may be into art. Your partner might be into the sampling and exploring the distinctly Italian mystique of wine. You both might be into spicy seafood dishes. Whatever your particular personality combination and personal tastes, planning your itinerary around your personalities goes a long way in creating a trip that is truly personal and truly memorable. Instead of you spending your precious time around the schedule and economics-based selections of your travel tour company, your own special travel itinerary delivers Italy’s charms, with all its history, mystery, glamor, and culinary firepower, on your own terms.
Select travel destinations based on romantic possibilities
From Romeo and Juliet’s Verona to the misty romantic air of Venice’s grand canals, Italy packs more than its fair share of romantic ambiance. In fact, many parts of the country seem like they came out of a romance novel. That’s how in tune some of Italy’s travel destinations are with romantic moods. Sit down with your travel agent and go through the long list of Italy’s famous romantic spots and cross reference them with the considerations raised above.